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Title: Ecological Monitoring and Compliance Program 2006 Report

Abstract

The Ecological Monitoring and Compliance program (EMAC), funded through the U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration Nevada Site Office (NNSA/NSO), monitors the ecosystem of the Nevada Test Site (NTS) and ensures compliance with laws and regulations pertaining to NTS biota. This report summarizes the program's activities conducted by National Security Technologies LLC (NSTec) during the Calendar Year 2006. Program activities included: (a) biological surveys at proposed construction sites, (b) desert tortoise compliance, (c) ecosystem mapping and data management, (d) sensitive plant species monitoring, (e) sensitive and protected/regulated animal monitoring, (f) habitat monitoring, (g) habitat restoration monitoring, and (h) monitoring of the Nonproliferation Test and Evaluation Complex (NPTEC). Sensitive and protected/regulated species of the NTS include 44 plants, 1 mollusk, 2 reptiles, over 250 birds, and 26 mammals protected, managed, or considered sensitive as per state or federal regulations and natural resource agencies and organizations. The threatened desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) is the only species on the NTS protected under the Endangered Species Act. Biological surveys for the presence of sensitive and protected/regulated species and important biological resources on which they depend were conducted for 34 projects. A total of 342.1 hectares (ha) (845.37 acres [ac]) was surveyed formore » these projects. Sensitive and protected/regulated species and important biological resources found included: 2 inactive tortoise burrows, 2 western burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia hypugaea), several horses (Equus caballus), 2 active predator burrows, mature Joshua trees (Yucca brevifolia), yuccas and cacti; and also 1 bird nest (2 eggs), 1 barn owl (Tyto alba) and 2 great-horned owls (Bubo virginianus). NSTec provided a written summary report of all survey findings and mitigation recommendations, where applicable. All flagged burrows were avoided during construction activities. Twenty one of the 34 projects had sites within the distribution range of the threatened desert tortoise. NNSA/NSO must comply with the terms and conditions of a permit (called a Biological Opinion) from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) when conducting work in tortoise habitat. No tortoises were found in or displaced from project areas. No desert tortoises were accidentally injured or killed, nor were any captured or displaced from project sites. One desert tortoise was accidentally killed along a paved road. One site specific re-vegetation plan was submitted this year as required by the desert tortoise habitat re-vegetation plan approved in 2004. This year a total of 1.89 ha (4.69 ac) of tortoise habitat was disturbed. Re-vegetation of habitat at the Bren Tower burn was completed in the spring of 2006. In the summer of 2006, NSTec scientists prepared a Biological Assessment of the security activities that were being conducted at the Device Assembly Facility (DAF). NNSA requested a Biological Opinion from FWS in late 2006. Ecosystem mapping and data management in 2006 focused primarily on two tasks: (a) converting hardcopies of about 17 reports (EMAC annual reports and selected topical reports from 1996 to 2003) into electronic versions (Portable Document Format [PDF] files) to facilitate electronic document exchange, rapid retrieval, duplication, and printing, and (b) conducting an annual vegetation survey to determine wildland fire hazards on the NTS. Copies of the PDF documents were sent to DOE's Office of Scientific and Technical Information website in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and the DOE National Nuclear Security Administration Nevada Site Office (NNSA/NSO) Public Reading Facility.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Security Technologies, LLC
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE; USDOE - National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
OSTI Identifier:
903001
Report Number(s):
DOE/NV/25946-174
TRN: US200722%%341
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC52-06NA25946
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; COMPLIANCE; ENDANGERED SPECIES; FIRE HAZARDS; HABITAT; MONITORING; NATIONAL SECURITY; NEVADA TEST SITE; SECURITY; US FWS; US DOE; PLANTS; Nevada Test Site; Ecology; Wildlife; Vegetation; Monitoring

Citation Formats

David C. Anderson, Paul D. Greger, Derek B. Hall, Dennis J. Hansen, and William K. Ostler. Ecological Monitoring and Compliance Program 2006 Report. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.2172/903001.
David C. Anderson, Paul D. Greger, Derek B. Hall, Dennis J. Hansen, & William K. Ostler. Ecological Monitoring and Compliance Program 2006 Report. United States. doi:10.2172/903001.
David C. Anderson, Paul D. Greger, Derek B. Hall, Dennis J. Hansen, and William K. Ostler. Thu . "Ecological Monitoring and Compliance Program 2006 Report". United States. doi:10.2172/903001. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/903001.
@article{osti_903001,
title = {Ecological Monitoring and Compliance Program 2006 Report},
author = {David C. Anderson and Paul D. Greger and Derek B. Hall and Dennis J. Hansen and William K. Ostler},
abstractNote = {The Ecological Monitoring and Compliance program (EMAC), funded through the U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration Nevada Site Office (NNSA/NSO), monitors the ecosystem of the Nevada Test Site (NTS) and ensures compliance with laws and regulations pertaining to NTS biota. This report summarizes the program's activities conducted by National Security Technologies LLC (NSTec) during the Calendar Year 2006. Program activities included: (a) biological surveys at proposed construction sites, (b) desert tortoise compliance, (c) ecosystem mapping and data management, (d) sensitive plant species monitoring, (e) sensitive and protected/regulated animal monitoring, (f) habitat monitoring, (g) habitat restoration monitoring, and (h) monitoring of the Nonproliferation Test and Evaluation Complex (NPTEC). Sensitive and protected/regulated species of the NTS include 44 plants, 1 mollusk, 2 reptiles, over 250 birds, and 26 mammals protected, managed, or considered sensitive as per state or federal regulations and natural resource agencies and organizations. The threatened desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) is the only species on the NTS protected under the Endangered Species Act. Biological surveys for the presence of sensitive and protected/regulated species and important biological resources on which they depend were conducted for 34 projects. A total of 342.1 hectares (ha) (845.37 acres [ac]) was surveyed for these projects. Sensitive and protected/regulated species and important biological resources found included: 2 inactive tortoise burrows, 2 western burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia hypugaea), several horses (Equus caballus), 2 active predator burrows, mature Joshua trees (Yucca brevifolia), yuccas and cacti; and also 1 bird nest (2 eggs), 1 barn owl (Tyto alba) and 2 great-horned owls (Bubo virginianus). NSTec provided a written summary report of all survey findings and mitigation recommendations, where applicable. All flagged burrows were avoided during construction activities. Twenty one of the 34 projects had sites within the distribution range of the threatened desert tortoise. NNSA/NSO must comply with the terms and conditions of a permit (called a Biological Opinion) from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) when conducting work in tortoise habitat. No tortoises were found in or displaced from project areas. No desert tortoises were accidentally injured or killed, nor were any captured or displaced from project sites. One desert tortoise was accidentally killed along a paved road. One site specific re-vegetation plan was submitted this year as required by the desert tortoise habitat re-vegetation plan approved in 2004. This year a total of 1.89 ha (4.69 ac) of tortoise habitat was disturbed. Re-vegetation of habitat at the Bren Tower burn was completed in the spring of 2006. In the summer of 2006, NSTec scientists prepared a Biological Assessment of the security activities that were being conducted at the Device Assembly Facility (DAF). NNSA requested a Biological Opinion from FWS in late 2006. Ecosystem mapping and data management in 2006 focused primarily on two tasks: (a) converting hardcopies of about 17 reports (EMAC annual reports and selected topical reports from 1996 to 2003) into electronic versions (Portable Document Format [PDF] files) to facilitate electronic document exchange, rapid retrieval, duplication, and printing, and (b) conducting an annual vegetation survey to determine wildland fire hazards on the NTS. Copies of the PDF documents were sent to DOE's Office of Scientific and Technical Information website in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and the DOE National Nuclear Security Administration Nevada Site Office (NNSA/NSO) Public Reading Facility.},
doi = {10.2172/903001},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Mar 01 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Thu Mar 01 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}

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  • The Ecological Monitoring and Compliance program (EMAC), funded through the U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration Nevada Site Office (NNSA/NSO), monitors the ecosystem of the Nevada Test Site (NTS) and ensures compliance with laws and regulations pertaining to NTS biota. This report summarizes the program's activities conducted by National Security Technologies LLC (NSTec) during the Calendar Year 2006. Program activities included: (a) biological surveys at proposed construction sites, (b) desert tortoise compliance, (c) ecosystem mapping and data management, (d) sensitive plant species monitoring, (e) sensitive and protected/regulated animal monitoring, (f) habitat monitoring, (g) habitat restoration monitoring, and (h)more » monitoring of the Nonproliferation Test and Evaluation Complex (NPTEC). Sensitive and protected/regulated species of the NTS include 44 plants, 1 mollusk, 2 reptiles, over 250 birds, and 26 mammals protected, managed, or considered sensitive as per state or federal regulations and natural resource agencies and organizations. The threatened desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) is the only species on the NTS protected under the Endangered Species Act. Biological surveys for the presence of sensitive and protected/regulated species and important biological resources on which they depend were conducted for 34 projects. A total of 342.1 hectares (ha) (845.37 acres [ac]) was surveyed for these projects. Sensitive and protected/regulated species and important biological resources found included: 2 inactive tortoise burrows, 2 western burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia hypugaea), several horses (Equus caballus), 2 active predator burrows, mature Joshua trees (Yucca brevifolia), yuccas and cacti; and also 1 bird nest (2 eggs), 1 barn owl (Tyto alba) and 2 great-horned owls (Bubo virginianus). NSTec provided a written summary report of all survey findings and mitigation recommendations, where applicable. All flagged burrows were avoided during construction activities. Twenty one of the 34 projects had sites within the distribution range of the threatened desert tortoise. NNSA/NSO must comply with the terms and conditions of a permit (called a Biological Opinion) from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) when conducting work in tortoise habitat. No tortoises were found in or displaced from project areas. No desert tortoises were accidentally injured or killed, nor were any captured or displaced from project sites. One desert tortoise was accidentally killed along a paved road. One site specific revegetation plan was submitted this year as required by the desert tortoise habitat revegetation plan approved in 2004. This year a total of 1.89 ha (4.69 ac) of tortoise habitat was disturbed. Revegetation of habitat at the Bren Tower burn was completed in the spring of 2006. In the summer of 2006, NSTec scientists prepared a Biological Assessment of the security activities that were being conducted at the Device Assembly Facility (DAF). NNSA requested a Biological Opinion from FWS in late 2006. Ecosystem mapping and data management in 2006 focused primarily on two tasks: (a) converting hardcopies of about 17 reports (EMAC annual reports and selected topical reports from 1996 to 2003) into electronic versions (Portable Document Format [PDF] files) to facilitate electronic document exchange, rapid retrieval, duplication, and printing, and (b) conducting an annual vegetation survey to determine wildland fire hazards on the NTS.« less
  • The Ecological Monitoring and Compliance program, funded through the U. S. Department of Energy/Nevada Operations Office, monitors the ecosystem of the Nevada Test Site and ensures compliance with laws and regulations pertaining to NTS biota. This report summarizes the program's activities conducted by Bechtel Nevada during fiscal year 1998. Twenty-one sites for seven projects were surveyed for the presence of state or federally protected species. Three projects were in or near habitat of the threatened desert tortoise and required special clearance and transect surveys. All geospatial data collected were entered into Bechtel Nevada's Ecological Geographic Information system for use inmore » ongoing ecosystem management of the NTS.« less
  • The Ecological and Compliance program, funded through the U. S. Department of Energy, Nevada Operations Office, monitors the ecosystem of the Nevada Test Site (NTS) and ensures compliance with laws and regulations pertaining to NTS biota. This report summarizes the program's activities conducted by Bechtel Nevada during fiscal year 1999. Program activities included: (1) biological surveys at proposed construction sites (2) desert tortoise compliance (3) ecosystem mapping (4) sensitive species and unique habitat monitoring and (5) biological monitoring at the HAZMAT Spill Center.
  • The Ecological Monitoring and Compliance program, funded through the U.S. Department of Energy, Nevada Operations Office, monitors the ecosystem of he Nevada Test Site (NTS) and ensures compliance with laws and regulations pertaining to NTS biota. This report summarizes the program's activities conducted by Bechtel Nevada during fiscal year 2000. Program activities included: (1) biological surveys at proposed construction sites, (2) desert tortoise compliance,(3) ecosystem mapping, (4) sensitive species and unique habitat monitoring, and (5) biological monitoring at the HAZMAT Spill Center. Biological surveys for the presence of sensitive species were conducted for 24 NTS projects. Seventeen sites were inmore » desert tortoise habitat, and six acres of tortoise habitat were documented as being disturbed this year. No tortoises were found in or displaced from project areas, and no tortoises were accidentally injured or killed. A topical report describing the classification of habitat types o n the NTS was completed. The report is the culmination of three years of field vegetation mapping and the analysis of vegetation data from over 1,500 ecological landform units. A long-term monitoring plan for important plant species that occur on the NTS was completed. Sitewide inventories were conducted for the western burrowing owl, bat species of concern, wild horses, raptor nests, and mule deer. Fifty-nine of 69 known owl burrows were monitored. Forty-four of the known burrows are in disturbed habitat. As in previous years, some owls were present year round on the NTS. An overall decrease in active owl burrows was observed within all three ecoregions (Mojave Desert, Transition, Great Basin Desert) from October through January. An increase in active owl burrows was observed from mid-March to early April. A total of 45 juvenile owls was detected from eight breeding pairs. One nest burrow was detected in the Mojave Desert,one in the Great Basin Desert, and six in the Transition ecoregion. Seventy bats, representing four bat species of concern, were captured in mist-nets at water sources in the Great Basin Desert ecoregion. Bats were detected with the Anabat II call-recording system at selected tunnel and mine entrances verifying that some NTS mines and tunnels are used as bat roosts. Thirty-seven adult horses and 11 foals were counted this year. Four of the five foals observed last year have survived to yearlings. A monitoring plan for NTS horses was completed. Six active red-tailed hawk nests and 10 nestling red-tailed hawks were detected this year. Two spotlighting surveys for mule deer were conducted, each over three consecutive nights in October 1999 and August 2000. The mean sighting rate in October was 1.2 deer/10 kilometers (km) and 1.6 deer/10 km in August. Selected wetlands and man-made water sources were monitored for physical parameters and wildlife use. No dead animals were observed this year in any plastic-lined sump. Pahute Mesa Pond was confirmed to have vegetation,hydrology, and soil indicators that qualify the site as a jurisdictional wetland. The chemical spill test plan for one experiment at the HAZMAT Spill Center was reviewed for its potential to impact biota downwind of spills on Frenchman Lake playa.« less
  • The Ecological Monitoring and Compliance program, funded through the U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration Nevada Operations Office, monitors the ecosystem of the Nevada Test Site (NTS) and ensures compliance with laws and regulations pertaining to NTS biota. This report summarizes the program's activities conducted by Bechtel Nevada during fiscal year 2001. Program activities included: (1) biological surveys at proposed construction sites, (2) desert tortoise compliance, (3) ecosystem mapping and data management, (4) sensitive species and unique habitat monitoring, and (5) biological monitoring at the HAZMAT Spill Center. Biological surveys for the presence of sensitive species were conductedmore » for 23 NTS projects. Eleven sites were in desert tortoise habitat. These projects have the potential to disturb a total of 588 acres, where 568 acres of disturbance would be off-road driving. No tortoises were found in or displaced from project areas, and no tortoise s were accidentally injured or killed at project areas. One tortoise was crushed by a vehicle on a paved road. A topical report describing the classification of habitat types on the NTS was completed and distributed. The report is the culmination of three years of field vegetation mapping and the analysis of vegetation data from over 1,500 ecological landform units. Compilation of historical wildlife data was initiated. A long-term monitoring plan for important plant species that occur on the NTS was completed. Site-wide monitoring was conducted for the western burrowing owl, bat species of concern, wild horses, and raptor nests. Sixty-nine of 77 known owl burrows were monitored. As in previous years, some owls were present year round on the NTS. An overall decrease in active owl burrows was observed within all three ecoregions (Mojave Desert, Transition, Great Basin Desert) from October through January. An increase in active owl burrows was observed from mid March to early April. A total of 55 juvenile owls was detected from 11 breeding pairs. Pellet analysis of burrowing owls was completed which identified key prey species. A total of 272 bats, representing 10 bat species were captured in mist-nets at water sources in the Great Basin Desert ecoregion. Bats were detected with the Anabat II call-recording system at water sources and selected tunnel and mine entrances. Thirty-seven adult horses and 11 foals were counted this year. Two of the eleven foals observed last year survived to yearlings. Seven active raptor nests were found and monitored this year. These included two Great-horned Owl nests, three Barn Owl nests, and two Red-tailed Hawk nests. Selected wetlands and man-made water sources were monitored for physical parameters and wildlife use. No dead animals were observed this year in any plastic-lined sump. The chemical spill test plans for four experiments at the HAZMAT Spill Center were reviewed for their potential to impact biota downwind of spills on Frenchman Lake playa.« less